The most important thing for your child during this time is rhythm equal to this is self-initiated free play. It is through play that they will be able to process all that has changed in their world. It is essential that they have adequate time, space and open ended materials for free play. For more information on supporting free play there is an article under the parent resources section entitled "How to be a quiet adult: five tips to encourage child-directed play".
There are many activities that you can do with your child in the home, many of which form part of your child's day at preschool. Children love to help wash the dishes, fold the washing, chop and cook, sweep and mop the floors, gardening - basically anything the adult or older child is doing your younger child will want to imitate and these activities are good for your child. The activities offered here should not replace those that make children part of your household, so please incorporate these also as much as possible. Activities offered on this page are part of maintaining the rhythm and offering a little more particularly for the older Kinder and Prep children who require more. While Prep children may be expected to participate in the craft activities, the Kinder and Ring a Rosy child it is an offering to take up or not. We have put a suggestion of when to do these activities but you need to do what works for your family. First please visit the page on rhythm to help you determine when you will do these. Some children may want to do their craft activity more than for just the allotted time and this is perfectly acceptable for them to do so. Please upload photos of your child's work for their teacher to view. This includes photos of their play if it is appropriate to take photos and you can do so without interrupting the flow of play.
In the Mother Holle our drawing day is Monday, while in Briar Rose our drawing day is Tuesday. Drawing is available all week for those who wish to do a drawing. For simplicity your child has been provided with a main lesson book for drawing and crayons in the three primary colours of red, blue and yellow. With these they can blend to create other secondary and tertiary colours. Please help your child to use the main lesson book with purpose, telling them that it is their 'special kindergarten book' or similar should help. If you could please write their name on the book in the top corner so we can identify their work when it returns with them to school. Then if you could please date each of their pictures we can see their progression throughout their time away. Please limit their drawing in this book to a maximum of 5 per week. If your child is one who loves to draw, maybe they could do one special one in their kinder book and then use loose paper for the remainder. They make wonderful wall decorations, wrapping paper, cards etc!
In Kindergarten we do wet on wet painting using water colour paints. If you have these at home please bring them into your Kinder days at home. Wet on wet painting works with the children's emotional life and can really support them to work through the changes in their life. The fluid quality of the paint is like the moving of their emotional soul life. In Mother Holle we paint on a Tuesday morning, while in Briar Rose we paint on a Monday morning. Each child has their board, paints and brush plus a water pot and dabbing sponge. They need to remember to 'clean the donkey's tail' before dipping back into the paint. They then wipe his tail on the edge of the water pot and dry it on the towel. If I see a child about to put their brush in the paint without rinsing I sing: "Rinse, rinse, wipe, wipe, into the paint we go" sometimes it is necessary to also guide their hand or simply reiterate, "remember to clean the donkey's tail". Our painting song can be found below along with the rinsing song.
As not all families will have wet on wet painting supplies we have included a link to an external website about how to make paints from nature. This is a very appropriate activity to do while staying at home and includes making water colour paints. You could even experiment with other things you find and it will lead into many discoveries and is wonderful early science education as your child can lead the exploration and see what they find. We wouldn't bring intellectual conversations around this or lots of questions but merely let them explore their surrounds and experiment. You could make simple suggestions if you choose "I wonder if these acorns will give us a colour" etc. and leave the rest up to your child supporting them along their journey with nature colour. If you have wet on wet paint things at home please still consider this nature paint activity for other times in your day or if you run out of craft at some stage.
In the Kindergarten we make bread on a Thursday morning upon arrival. Each child washes their hands first before coming to the table where the teacher sits with the loaf of bread. We then break off a small amount for each child as they come to the table. In Mother Holle we sing "rolling, rolling, all the way to ______" as we pass the bread roll down the table to each child as they sit. The recipe below is a variant of our kinder dough (to reflect the quantity you may require in a home situation). To download a printable recipe please click here! Making bread is such a lovely activity engaging so many of our senses.
Sense of touch - feel the dough as it gets more and more elastic, or when it is a bit too wet and sticky,
Sense of warmth -feel as it becomes warmer as we work with it.
Sense of balance as we work with both hands to create a balanced design,
Sense of movement as we rhythmically knead and work with the dough.
Sense of smell - while the bread dough is in the oven cooking we often feel an inner warmth as the dough warms and cooks and our mouths begin to water with anticipation.
Sense of taste - finally we get to eat the delicious warm bread, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. In kindergarten this is accompanied by butter and honey.
Wax modelling is usually done with natural coloured beeswax. The children arrive and warm their hands in the bowl of warm lavender infused water. They are then handed a mildly pre-warmed ball of wax and need to work with the loving warmth of their hands to make the piece as thin as possible. We then hold it up to the sun to see what message the bees have left for us in their wax. Children often want to model with the wax and as such we decided under the circumstances to provide your child with a range of different colours of beeswax in small squares. These can be reused and remodelled multiple times if your child is happy to let go of their previous creation to create something new - they may not be and this should be their choice. The benefit of the activity is in the process not the end product! So sit with your child and have some wax in your hand to warm. See where your child takes this - they may want to create something of a form or sculpture or be happy to see what the bees message is. The sense of smell and touch is very strong in this activity as is the sense of warmth. Please don't let your child put the beeswax on heaters or ovens to warm - some children may require a little more assistance from an adult to warm their wax but the majority of the work is for them to do as this strengthens their will.